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Kingston University psychology student presents at international conferences after being first undergraduate to win prestigious scholarship

Posted Thursday 8 December 2016

Kingston University psychology student presents at international conferences after being first undergraduate to win prestigious scholarship

Kingston University psychology student Rose Martin has become the first undergraduate to be awarded the highly-regarded Jane Beattie Memorial Travel Scholarship.

Jointly sponsored by the Society for Judgment and Decision Making (SJDM) and the European Association for Decision Making, the $750 (£590) scholarship enabled Rose to travel to Boston, Massachusetts to present her current research at two international conferences hosted by SJDM and the Psychonomic Society to audiences of more than 3,000 researchers in her field....


Leading diplomats and academics from around Europe share their views on the challenges to come at Kingston University Brexit event

Posted Tuesday 29 November 2016

Leading diplomats and academics from around Europe share their views on the challenges to come at Kingston University Brexit event

The continent-wide implications of Brexit were laid bare at a Kingston University event that brought together a range of leading figures at the heart of the debate. Among those speaking at the Brexit Futures panel discussion were Jacqueline Minor, the European Commission's Head of Representation in the United Kingdom, and Daniel Mulhall, Irish Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

The round-table event – organised by the University's Centre for Research on Communities, Identities and Difference in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences – also featured contributions from Irish Times journalist Denis Staunton and Anita Prazmowska, Professor of International History at the London School of Economics....


Bicycle made from discarded golf clubs highlights 21st Century swing to cycling as leisure activity for middle-aged men

Posted Thursday 24 November 2016

Bicycle made from discarded golf clubs highlights 21st Century swing to cycling as leisure activity for middle-aged men

A lightweight bicycle constructed from abandoned golf clubs bought for just 99p from eBay has been created by a Kingston University graphic design student. Calum Ray designed the unusual mode of transport to highlight how middle-aged men are swapping the fairway for the cycle lane as the sport's popularity soars.

Calum's creative wheels were put in motion upon returning to his parent's house in the Hertfordshire countryside following a year living in London as a student. "I was really struck by the increase in cyclists on the road. At the same time I noticed a lot of golf clubs were closing and I wondered if there was a correlation. I visited a few clubs and they confirmed their numbers had declined over the past few years," he said. The statistical data was backed up by online research which spurred on Calum's interest. "I came up with the idea of producing a representation of the way social sport has evolved for the 21st century's middle-aged men," he said....


Integrity Research Group at Kingston Law School set to make sure punishment fits the crime in fight against corruption

Posted Monday 21 November 2016

Integrity Research Group at Kingston Law School set to make sure punishment fits the crime in fight against corruption

What is the definition of corruption? How does this definition vary from country to country? How do we create and enforce laws on a concept that is often veiled in secrecy?

Corruption is often seen as one of the most devastating forms of criminality. Much broader than mere bribery, it covers any abuse of power that satisfies personal interests in either the public or private sector. In direct contrast to the barriers that often surround this topic, Kingston University Law School's recently established Integrity Research Group aims to raise the veil and bring the discussion out in to the open....


Kingston University curating contemporary design students shine a light on secrets of modernist architect Ernö Goldfinger's family home

Posted Monday 14 November 2016

Kingston University curating contemporary design students shine a light on secrets of modernist architect Ernö Goldfinger's family home

The secrets of an iconic London building designed by a renowned modernist architect were explored in a project led by Kingston University postgraduate curating students. Two Willow Road in Hampstead was designed by Hungarian-born architect Ernö Goldfinger as a family home and studio.

Built in 1939 and considered one of the finest examples of British modernism today, it was rumoured to have inspired the creation of Ian Fleming's notorious Bond villain Auric Goldfinger....


US student becomes one of youngest ever to enrol for PhD at Kingston University after signing up for psychology programme aged just 17

Posted Monday 14 November 2016

US student becomes one of youngest ever to enrol for PhD at Kingston University after signing up for psychology programme aged just 17

A student from the United States has become one of the youngest ever to study for a PhD at Kingston University – after enrolling this summer aged just 17. Angela Medvedeva, from Houston, Texas, is undertaking a postgraduate research degree in psychology, having graduated from the University of Houston with degrees in both psychology and liberal studies.

The teenager left school for university when she was 15 years old – after completing the equivalent of her A-levels at college on day release – but insists that she's not the stereotypical child genius pressured by pushy parents. Instead, she says a desire to continually try things that haven't been done before – along with the support of a strong family unit, teachers and peers – is what has driven her to fast-track her education....


Kingston University academic lays down the law at inaugural professorial lecture

Posted Friday 11 November 2016

Kingston University academic lays down the law at inaugural professorial lecture

The rule of law is critical because we cannot accept power that is in the hands of one person, or a selected group – society has to do the checks and balances. This was the claim made by Kingston University law professor Umut Turksen at his recent inaugural lecture. The lecture was the first in a series launched by Kingston University's Faculty of Business and Law to honour academics who have been awarded the title of professor by the University. The public talks are designed to showcase excellence in research spanning a variety of topical subjects. The series opened with an evening dedicated to senior lecturer in law, Professor Umut Turksen. The audience of staff, students and eminent representatives from the legal profession, were given an insight in to Professor Turksen's personal research journey which, he said, had begun when he was just a boy in his native Turkey. "When I was six years old I really wanted a ‘Chopper' bike and my father saw this as an opportunity for me to earn my own money, so he sent me to market with a crate of lemons," Professor Turksen recalled. "I acquired my first observational research skills when I saw how the other lemon sellers were enticing their customers by pitching the freshness and medicinal properties of the citrus fruit." Turkey was at this time experiencing a military coup and Professor Turksen's first foray in to research was followed just a few, short years later when he researched the concepts of liberty, equality and the power of the people for a poem which he performed on Turkey's republic declaration day. Reflecting on his professional journey, Professor Turksen described how his academic research had evolved to focus on the rule of law - a topic he strongly believes in and one which is rooted in the work ethic, sense of community and justice that he learned as child.

Professor Umut Turksen spoke about the rule of law at his inaugural professorial lecture.Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) Professor Martyn Jones, who chaired the event which was held at Kingston Business School, said Professor Turksen had demonstrated clear leadership in his field. "What strikes me most is the breadth of his work – which spans a number of different sectors – and how much it embodies the spirit of research," he said. "Umut makes complex concepts accessible and has a remarkable ability to spot a gap in knowledge. This makes his body of work relevant to people and communities both in the United Kingdom and internationally." People had to be resilient and fight for the rule of law because it was part and parcel of democracy and human rights, Professor Turksen asserted. "It has been a subject of debate since drafting of the Magna Carta right up to such recent developments as Brexit," he said. "Its application is critical as it enables us to seek legal redress and invoke our rights." After sketching out his early research background, Professor Turksen returned to a few key projects where he had applied the rule of law to such diverse contemporary concerns as counter-terrorism, new technology and financial crime. He had delved into areas, he explained, which had not previously been looked in to including; the use of the internet and its place in family life, the right to work and the impact of digital innovations on property and asset inheritance. Professor Turksen also described how his research had highlighted a number of conflicts of interest when it came to world trade in defence goods. He claimed a lack of clear legal criteria meant preferential treatment was often given to certain exporters. "Fairness and equality tend to be in the eye of the beholders, especially when commercial interests are at stake," he suggested. A European Union-funded research project, entitled Cities against Terrorism, which he had led on, had resulted in the creation of a model for cities which reversed the traditional concept of government being at the centre of terrorism prevention measures, Professor Turksen told the audience. "Placing the community at the heart of crime prevention was a complete departure from the accepted model and this template has now been applied to many modern cities' security plans," he said. Professor Turksen concluded the evening by turning the discussion to the pivotal role universities play in law making. They had a civic mission to educate and make the law accessible and relevant by banishing the jargon barrier that was traditionally associated with law, he said. "Too often, the symptoms of a modern issue or an unfortunate incident are the triggers for laws to be created," he added. "I believe that we should all be critical thinkers and observe when there is a need for the rule of law to be applied."...


Kingston University student scoops Creative Conscience Award for helping to transform the heart of his hometown with community project

Posted Friday 11 November 2016

Kingston University student scoops Creative Conscience Award for helping to transform the heart of his hometown with community project

Many people return home for the holidays to see family and friends, but for one Kingston University student, a Christmas trip turned into the start of a major campaign to re-design part of his home town.Graphic design student Liam Dargan put his creative talents to the test to encourage people in his hometown of Darwen, Lancashire to have their say on the town's marketplace. His work has led to a prestigious gold award for creating the ‘Heart of Darwen' brand, designed to get his local community involved in the campaign. Liam's campaign was kick-started after he returned home for the Christmas holidays last year and discovered the town hall's three-day markets were struggling to attract local footfall, putting the building at risk of closure. "Darwen itself has changed greatly over the years but the marketplace has failed to keep up," he said. "The space has barely improved since I was little and it isn't really appealing to anyone my age, or even my parents' age anymore."

Graphic design student Liam Dargan won gold at the Creative Conscious Awards for his work with the Darwen community.The 21-year-old embarked on a mission to help re-vitalise the market space and trawled the stalls with a camera and notebook, interviewing traders and visitors to get an insider's view on what needed to be done to reinvigorate the hall. His vision began to take shape after a local newspaper ran an article reporting that Blackburn with Darwen Council planned to demolish the building. "I collated my ideas and presented them to the Darwen Town Centre Partnership, a committee made up of council members and local business people in charge of the consultation," Liam explained. "They brought me on board and I created the Heart of Darwen brand to provide a platform for ideas from the community."Since launching the brand website as a forum to exchange ideas, Liam has run workshops alongside the board with local businesses, collated hand-written and online feedback and has even involved local schools in the consultation about the marketplace. "Two of the three high schools in Darwen have now moved into the town centre, so nearly 2,000 young people are studying metres away from the market which could be very good for business," Liam explained. "The schools also specialise in entrepreneurship so it's been a big focus of ours to encourage pupils to have their say on their new surroundings."Liam's project won gold at the Creative Conscience awards, which encourage and reward graduates across the design spectrum for developing projects that improve communities. The accolade only strengthened the momentum behind his work. "It was encouraging to know that I was making waves, not just in Darwen but with industry experts across the country," he said.The Darwen community submitted a range of ideas for the marketplace refurbishment to Liam's Heart of Darwen website."Being at Kingston University and being so close to London, you are constantly surrounded by innovative design and during my three years studying, I have seen how design can make things better and have a positive social impact, so it's really important to me that this project works for Darwen."Darwen Town Centre Partnership Board member Samantha Taylor continues to be impressed by Liam's understanding of the town's needs. "He's become invaluable to the board through the campaign," she said. "He has enabled us to bring the consultation to life and engage with different age groups across various platforms." With the three-day market building facing demolition, many Darwen traders have begun to relocate to the six-day Victorian marketplace or elsewhere in the town centre. Since graduating this year, Liam has continued to interview the traders on their move and to encourage community involvement in the project. "The local council will make an announcement soon about how they're replacing the three-day market and I'll be working closely with them to make sure the replacement is something that adds to the community," he said. "All of the feedback we've had suggests the space needs to be more appealing to people of all ages and council has taken on these ideas."Graphic design senior lecturer Kieran O'Connor heralded Liam's mature approach to the Heart of Darwen project. "Using his creativity to help stakeholders and the community get involved in big decisions and truly own their ideas for the town really showcases Liam as an emerging entrepreneur," he said. "We all live with design decisions made by others on our behalf in our everyday lives - it makes me feel optimistic to witness creativity letting us in on those decisions and even empowering us to make them ourselves."...

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